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 Re: If you are sceptical concerning synthetic reeds...
Author: Brad Behn 
Date:   2018-03-04 02:40

As a mouthpiece maker and refacer I occasionally get requests by my clientele to make a mouthpiece which is "legere-ified." And so my goal in such an assignment is to make the playing experience as "cane-esque" as possible.

That is to say that a good quality cane reed is superior to plastic in its vitality. It rings more, has improved access to focus, point, and fine calibrations in response. Cane has a wider range. Range being all things: Dynamics, Color, Response, etc. Cane tunes higher by comparison as well. So playing on Legere may require a slightly sharper barrel or mouthpiece to compensate. And cane allows one to more easily and fluently access the extreme altissimo.

So when I voice a mouthpiece for Legere, I make sure it sounds more lively and rings more like a good cane reed. I typically make the facing a bit shorter and slightly more open to invite the player to support the reed with the embouchure in such a way as to "invisibly" focus better...without the sense of "adding bite to bring the sound in place." I make the rails and upper baffle finer to invite faster response, and snappier ping. These treatments further benefit the altissimo register as well...bonus!

In my experience a very open facing is NOT required to play on Legere. It is more about the concept of the player and the type of sound the player is looking to achieve. Indeed a slightly more open facing can help facilitate a touch more focus which Legere lacks by comparison to good cane, but I suggest an hundredth of a millimeter or two, but nothing drastic. Wide rails further dampen an already darker and duller experience, so I would not advise going with wider rails on plastic reeds. All reeds, whether cane or plastic are finicky with placement, and while plastic which is translucent makes it more difficult to properly align in place, a wide rail simply isn't what I would suggest.

Unless...

If a player is seeking a duller tone, then a mouthpiece with wider rails may well be preferred. But to be perfectly honest, one can achieve richness AND ring in the sound with fairly narrow rails when all other elements of a mouthpiece are properly balanced. Indeed material formulation, facing, chamber geometry, baffle contour, throat shape, chamber volume, and baffle entrance angle are extremely important in how beautifully a mouthpiece performs, and rail width is just one small component within the entire ecosystem.

Richness and ring in combination create tonal sweetness, and when one achieves those elements in the sound, darkness isn't needed. When one achieves "sweetness" the sound is sculpted in such a way that one needn't hide behind a vail of gauzy dullness. One can now stand up and celebrate the sound which has character, life, and personality...beautiful!

So a good cane reed playing experience provides response, comfort, resonance, and sweetness. To bring out those characteristics on a plastic reed, a well chosen mouthpiece or a properly voiced refacing is a necessary component. That mouthpiece should add life and zing to compensate for plastic's lack of. And when life and zing are added, the player won't feel the flaws of plastic as much.

Brad Behn
http://www.clarinetmouthpiece.com

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 Topics Author  Date
 If you are sceptical concerning synthetic reeds...  new
Axel 2018-02-25 15:35 
 Re: If you are sceptical concerning synthetic reeds...  new
Johan H Nilsson 2018-02-25 16:18 
 Re: If you are sceptical concerning synthetic reeds...  new
dorjepismo 2018-02-25 19:47 
 Re: If you are sceptical concerning synthetic reeds...  new
Zacharywest158 2018-02-27 23:43 
 Re: If you are sceptical concerning synthetic reeds...  new
antaresclar 2018-02-28 00:53 
 Re: If you are sceptical concerning synthetic reeds...  new
Klose 2018-02-28 02:51 
 Re: If you are sceptical concerning synthetic reeds...  new
ClarinetRobt 2018-02-28 03:40 
 Re: If you are sceptical concerning synthetic reeds...  new
sax panther 2018-02-28 15:32 
 Re: If you are sceptical concerning synthetic reeds...  new
Jarmo Hyvakko 2018-02-28 17:15 
 Re: If you are sceptical concerning synthetic reeds...  new
Jarmo Hyvakko 2018-02-28 17:18 
 Re: If you are sceptical concerning synthetic reeds...  new
William 2018-03-03 22:20 
 Re: If you are sceptical concerning synthetic reeds...  new
donald 2018-03-04 01:22 
 Re: If you are sceptical concerning synthetic reeds...  new
Brad Behn 2018-03-04 02:40 
 Re: If you are sceptical concerning synthetic reeds...  new
Jarmo Hyvakko 2018-03-04 12:52 


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